spotlight show • Bob Dylan’s Americanarama Tour is an embarrassment of riches, with Mr. Zimmerman, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Ryan Bingham performing. Bingham is the Oscar- and Grammy-winning writer of the song "The Weary Kind" from the film "Crazy Heart," starring Jeff Bridges. Bingham has since shed his folk-singing, hard-living troubadour image with the release of last year’s "Tomorrowland," which declared him a rock and roller at heart."I’m playing a lot more electric guitar," he said. "It was liberating." This tour is a dream come true for Bingham. He joined My Morning Jacket onstage the other night, and the guys in Wilco are talking about collaborating. "It’s been a really cool experience," he said. Bingham opens the show each night, with a 30-minute set, and said he would relish the role even if he and his band had only five minutes to play. He has been writing throughout the tour and is happy with his place in life after years of self-imposed bleakness. "Writing has always been a therapeutic thing for me," he said. "I’ve had enough suffering. I’d rather be happy. I’m looking forward to writing more positive songs."
When • Thursday, 5:30 p.m.
Where • Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley City
Tickets • $33 to $70 at SmithsTix
spotlight show • Bud Light is throwing 50 parties in 50 states on Aug. 1 for its inaugural "50/50/1" celebration. The Utah event features Blackberry Smoke. The Southern rockers are touring in support of "The Whippoorwill," their first album under a contract with Zac Brown, who has used his fame to promote the band’s rootsy approach. "The operations are stable," said frontman Charlie Starr of being supported by Brown. "We don’t have to worry about checks bouncing." Like many other country bands, Blackberry Smoke is still reflecting on the recent death of country legend George Jones. One of the singer’s final recording sessions included time with Blackberry Smoke. The best compliment the band ever received, Starr said, was when Jones heard the song and remarked, "Damn, now that’s country."
When • Thursday, 8 p.m.
Where • The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $15 in advance, $20 day of, at SmithsTix
spotlight show • The alt-rock band The National will headline the next Twilight Concert. Sharon Von Etten opens. The New York City band includes frontman Matt Berninger and two sets of brothers: Bryan and Scott Devendorf and Aaron and Bryce Dessner. Brotherly love is part of what sets the band apart, Scott Devendorf said. "For us, it’s kept the band together. … It does give us support." 2010’s "High Violet" album, the band’s biggest commercial success, was actually its fifth album. That means "Trouble Will Find Me" will be thought of as that crucial "sophomore" album. The band also was featured in "Mistaken for Strangers," which premiered at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.
When • Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where • Pioneer Park, 400 W. 400 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $5 in advance at 24Tix, $5 at gate
spotlight show • During this tour, the veteran British band plays two sets; one features its 1987 landmark album "Electric" in its entirety. "It’s a great record to play start to back," said bassist Chris Wyse, who has been with the band since 2006. Back in 2009, frontman Ian Astbury told crowds there would be no more studio albums for The Cult. But last year "Choice of Weapon" was released, and the band is working on a new album for next year. "There was a demand for it," Wyse said of the new album. His other project, Owl, put out a new album in April. This more experimental music allows him to play the upright bass. "It’s a different animal, because of the bow," he said, "It’s a little more Zen. It’s like musical yoga." White Hills opens.
When • Thursday, 9 p.m.
Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $36 in advance , $41 day of, at SmithsTix
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